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Ah Puch: Ah Puch, God of Death in Mayan Religion, Mythology


Ah Puch, God of Death in Mayan Religion, Mythology

Ah Puch, God of Death in Mayan Religion, Mythology

Image Source: Nova Development

Name and Etymology:

Ah Puch
Hun Ahau
Yum Cimil, "Lord of Death"
Cum Hau

Religion and Culture of Ah Puch:

Maya, Mesoamerica

Symbols, Iconography, and Art of Ah Puch:

Mayan depictions of Ah Puch were either of a skeletal figure that had protruding ribs and a death's-head skull or of a bloated figure that suggested an advancing state of decomposition. Because of his association with owls, he might be portrayed as a skeletal figure with an owl's head. Like his Aztec equivalent, Mictlantecuhtli, Ah Puch frequently wears bells.

Ah Puch is God of:


Equivalents in Other Cultures:

Mictlantecuhtli, Aztec god of death

Story and Origin of Ah Puch:

Ah Puch ruled Mitnal, the lowest level of the Mayan underworld. Because he ruled death, he was closely allied with the gods of war, disease, and sacrifice. Like the Aztecs, the Mayans associated death with dogs owls, so Ah Puch was generally accompanied by a dog or an owl. Ah Puch is also often described as working against the gods of fertility.

Family Tree and Relationships of Ah Puch:

Rival of Itzamna

Temples, Worship and Rituals of Ah Puch:

Mayans were much more fearful of death than other Mesoamerican cultures — Ah Puch was envisioned as a hunting figure that stalked the houses of people who were injured or sick. Mayans typically engaged in extreme, even loud mourning after the death of loved ones. It was believed that the loud wailing would scare Ah Puch away and prevent him from taking any more down to Mitnal with him.

Mythology and Legends of Ah Puch:

unknown — please email me if you have any information to add about this.

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